Posted by Communion Church

MATTHEW 17.14-18.14

[Merges Faith and Value — Weeks 10&11 Sermon Preps from Matthew Booklet 3]

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you
have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. V.20

After the disciples fail to cast out a demon out of a child, the boy’s father asks Jesus to have mercy on his son. Jesus first rebukes his disciples for being faithless and twisted before casting out the demon. Later in private Jesus explains to his disciples that their lack of faith prevented them from casting out the demon. We would do well to be the father in this story. He acknowledges Jesus as Lord and then begs for Jesus’ mercy. I am convinced that we are all too often the disciples in this story. We are the faithless generation that tries to do ministry on our own strength and intellect. Our faith rarely goes past what we can see or explain. We fail to acknowledge that we desperately need the Lord’s help, and we fail to call out for his mercy.

Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. V.4

What is most important? Our answer to this question is not what we say is most important, but how we live. We are constantly getting our priorities mixed up. In this section of Scripture Jesus reveals our tendency to pursue the wrong thing. We have a tendency to defend our rights. Jesus denies his right to be exempt and pays the tax. We desire greatness, but Jesus says to be great we need to be more like children. We are lazy about sin. Jesus challenges us to be ruthless with our sin. We tend to ignore the marginalized, but Jesus is concerned about even the smallest sheep. We need to have a different set of values. Ones that proceed from the heart of God.

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?

2. In what ways do you acknowledge Jesus as Lord? Do people know that you have given your life to Jesus?

3. In what ways do you need Jesus to have mercy on you? Besides conquering sin, is there something you need Jesus’ power to accomplish? Are you depending on Jesus or yourself to do what God has called you to do?

4. What are some things you are asking Jesus was good at challenging and rebuking people in order that they might change. If Jesus was rebuking you, what do you think he would point out in your life?

5. Read Hebrews 11:1. What does it mean to have faith? What are some of the obstacles to our faith? What does it look like to live out our faith?

6. What is something that is too high of a priority to you? What should your priorities be?

7. What “rights” has God called you to deny in order to better accomplish His mission?

8. In what ways do you desire “greatness”? What does it mean to be humble like a child? Why does God consider that great?

9. Do you have a strategy for resisting sin and temptation in your life? Are you willing to make drastic changes in order to keep yourself from sin? What does this look like in your life?